Superior Court Judge John R. Downey has withdrawn his name from consideration for appointment to the Appellate Court.

“Judge Downey has asked me to withdraw his nomination to be a Judge of the Appellate Court.  I respect Judge Downey’s decision.  I am sure it was a difficult one for him and his family,” Gov. M. Jodi Rell said in an emailed statement Wednesday evening.

In his letter to the Judiciary Committee chairmen, Downey apologizes for any misunderstanding regarding his views on illegal immigrants and their access to the courts.

“My views on this issue have evolved. I would like to state unequivocally that it is my position that all people have the right to access our courts to seek redress for legal injury. In fact, in November 2006 in the matter of Jeannia Pierre Saint vs. Lily Transportation (FST-CV-04-4000599-S), I rendered a decision denying a motion to dismiss where the defendant claimed that the plaintiff was an illegal immigrant and therefore did have standing in Connecticut courts,” Downey wrote.

Click here to read his withdrawal letter, and here to read about how Downey’s nomination hearing imploded Tuesday.